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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Aug 14

Self-Esteem & Cheerleading

Posted By iamincontrol | August 14, 2014

cheerleader
By Anonymous

My sophomore year of high school I made the varsity cheer squad. I was the youngest on the team. This meant my close cheer friends were not there with me anymore, and I was with the older girls. I didn’t know much about them, and I was not included like I was on the other squad. As if this wasn’t hard enough, I was given a nickname calling me fat. I only weighed 100 pounds, so it was meant to be a joke, but this label caused me to have body image issues.

I did not have problems with weight because I was always active and ate a well-balanced diet, thanks to my parents. But being called such a name really upset me. I began to think my size was not socially normal and that I needed to gain weight fast. I did not want to be picked on anymore. I didn’t like the attention, so after practice I would go home and eat large quantities of food. It made me so uncomfortable, and then I would freak out because I was emotionally and physically overwhelmed.

I knew what good nutrition was, and I had a healthy relationship with food until those girls, who should have been role models, made me feel bad. Letting others shape me through their actions is something I am ashamed of. This caused me to have a poor view of my body image, leading to reduced confidence in myself and not wanting to be different within my social groups. This one name did not just affect me when I was with those girls; it affected my everyday life and my everyday decisions.

My self-esteem and health were affected, and this is something I never wanted anyone to destroy. Because I laughed and didn’t stand up for myself, this joke seemed acceptable to them. The harm of words is not temporary; it leaves an everlasting message with the individual. Through being a positive role model and a good friend to all, I aspire to be different and encouraging. Check out this website for fun, helpful information regarding a positive body image!